Memphis jail refuses ICE request on detaining immigrants

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Non-citizens suspected of living in the U.S. illegally won’t be held in a Tennessee jail past their scheduled release dates, despite federal requests to keep holding them.

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office is still cooperating in other ways with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

In April, the county attorney’s office ruled ICE’s 48-hour detainer requests likely violated the U.S. Constitution.

Sheriff’s policy adviser Debra Fessenden says ICE is still notified whenever a non-citizen is booked into the jail. The immigration agency is allowed to make arrests at the facility, and can be notified of suspects’ release times.

A Tennessee law mandating compliance with ICE detainer requests goes into effect next year. It’s unclear how that will affect Shelby County’s policy.

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